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Lucky visitor receives big box full of goodies

WU Jing of Henan Province may be able to open a small Africa museum at home.

As the 10 millionth person to visit the Africa Joint Pavilion, she was handed a big treasure box full of handicrafts, jewelry and works or art from across Africa yesterday morning.

The pavilion welcomed the young college teacher as if she was the chief of a tribe. Commissioner Generals representing several countries, including Ethiopia and Comoros, wrapped Wu in an Africa-style cloak and placed a crown on her head.

"I never thought I would be the one," Wu said. "I don't know what to say right now. It's just so amazing."

The treasure box was huge and heavy. Bracelets from Cameroon, wood-carvings from Ghana and stone-carvings from Gabon were among the gifts. The box is so big that the pavilion will send it to her home.

The pavilion's management personnel also gave her a souvenir Expo passport with the stamps of every single African participant.

It was the first pavilion to reach 10 million visitors, Expo organizers said. Officials said the pavilion initially aimed to attract 10 million people and they never dreamed they would accomplish that less than half way into the Expo. Now they anticipate attracting 20 million visitors by the time the Expo ends.

The pavilion's director on duty, Rose Ndayiragije, said she was excited that the pavilion had received so many visitors.

Still, she added that she was not able to work out a solution to deal with the rude behavior of some visitors.

Ndayiragije said people are using camera flashes when taking photos of performers and paintings inside the pavilion despite having "no flash" signs posted.

Volunteers and officials keep reminding people to turn off their flash, but some just ignore them.

"All the reminders are useless," Ndayiragije said.

She said another problem was that many people came just to collect stamps, without even caring about looking at the exhibits.

Ndayiragije, who is also the Burundi Pavilion director, said she has come across such visitors. She asked them to come back for the stamp after looking around the exhibit.

"We want to tell China about our culture and development course, not just hand out stamps," she said.


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